Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Every Senator who opposes expanded background checks needs to be asked whether they want the current background check law repealed. If they support the current law, then how is expanding the current law a threat to Constitutional rights? Greg Sargent writes, Don’t let Senators off the hook on guns:
Every Senator who is refusing to support expanded background checks — Republican or Democrat — needs to be asked a simple question: Do you support the current background system, or do you see it as an infringement on the rights of the law-abiding?
Every one of them will answer with a Yes, because they are taking refuge behind the idea that the current law needs to be strengthened in various ways but not expanded. Once they are on record confirming they don’t view the current system as a threat to Constitutional rights, the arguments against expanding it dissolve into incoherence.
Sen. Jeff Flake said on Sunday he could support improving the current system through better data sharing by states on the mentally ill and other such moves, while opposing expanding checks to private sales (leaving the massive gun show loophole in place).
I’d add one other point: It means these Senators view the current background check law as constitutional. Which means there is no logical way to argue that expanding background checks is an infringement on Constitutional rights. Here’s why: The compromise background check expansion being negotiated would simply build on current law, which requires gun dealers (who would conduct the checks on private sales) to keep records on those sales; it explicitly forbids the creation of a national registry; and it requires the feds to destroy info collected on legit gun transfers within 24 hours. None of this — none of it — would change. If the current law is not an infringement on constitutional rights, then neither is an expanded one.
Sen. Jeff Flake's position is even less defensible -- "Whine! it's too much paperwork!" (Anyone doing their income taxes right now would beg to differ). Steve Benen writes, GOP sees background checks as 'a bridge too far':
Expanded background checks enjoy extraordinary levels of public support, even among gun owners, and there are no constitutional concerns to speak of. Critics of the idea have generally been reduced to making up nonsense and conspiracy theories, unable to think of any substantive arguments.
It would seem, then, that expanded background checks would be the kind of measure that might actually pass. And yet, on the Sunday shows, Republican senators rejected the popular idea out of hand.
In this clip, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said closing the gun-show loophole is "a bridge too far" for most Senate Republicans. He added that the "paperwork requirements alone would be significant."
The nation would like to reduce mass murders, but for some federal lawmakers, "paperwork requirements" have to take precedence?